How Is a B12 Shot Different Than Taking an Oral Supplement?

Picture of a syringe among yellow pills spilling out from a white bottle.Have you been told that you need to increase your vitamin B12 intake? Maybe you haven’t received a formal diagnosis yet but suspect that you have a deficiency. In either case, you’ve probably started looking into what you can do to boost your B12 levels and seen that there are two options available: shots and oral supplements. What’s the difference between the two, and which is better suited to your needs?

The Advantages Offered by B12 Shots

If you’re purchasing shots or oral supplements to address a B12 deficiency, you’ll want to make sure that you’re making the most of your investment and absorbing as much B12 into your body as you possibly can. After all, paying for B12 and then letting some of it go to waste wouldn’t make sense, right? In this regard, B12 shots are superior to oral supplements. This is because oral supplements have to be absorbed into the body via the digestive tract, and during the digestion process, some of the vitamin can be lost. This is especially a concern if the person’s stomach doesn’t contain enough intrinsic factor (a protein that aids in the absorption of B12) or if the person is taking medications that interfere with B12 absorption (for example, metformin and antacids). In comparison, B12 shots tend to be absorbed more fully.

Another advantage offered by B12 shots is that they don’t need to be administered as frequently as oral supplements. If you opt for the oral version, you’ll likely need to take them every single day. Not only is this inconvenient, but it makes it more likely that you’ll forget a dose. In comparison, many people administer their B12 shots only once per week or even as infrequently as once per month (of course, you should defer to any specific instructions you receive from your physician).

Are There Any Drawbacks to B12 Shots?

Some people are initially hesitant to invest in B12 shots, fearing that the injections will hurt too much or be too difficult to administer. In reality, the shots are relatively painless. This is because the needle targets fatty deposits below the skin where there are relatively few nerve cells and blood vessels.

B12 shots are also easier to administer than many people imagine. To give yourself an injection, all you need to do is:

  • Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab or antiseptic wipe, then wait for your skin to dry.
  • Fill a clean syringe, hold it away from your skin at a five- to 15-degree angle, and insert the needle approximately ¼ inch into your skin.
  • Slowly inject the fluid until there’s nothing left in the syringe.
  • Withdraw the needle, cover the injection site with a small bandage, and properly dispose of the syringe.

Get Started With B12 Shots Today

If B12 shots sound like the right choice for your needs, contact Pharmacy Rx Solutions today. One of our knowledgeable team members can answer your questions, tell you about the B12 injections we offer, and get you started with the application process.